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Referee No Longer

Filed Under: Life
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If there’s one thing that keeps things interesting in a house with two kids under four, it’s the fights.

Epic fights involving teeth, nails and lots and lots of screaming.

I’m not the only one, right?

Please tell me I’m not the only one.

In the beginning, Cara and Ollie were thick as thieves. And they still are to some extent. But most days, these two go at each other from the time they wake up in the morning until they go to sleep at night.

When all of this crap first started, I practically killed myself playing the referee of their fights.

“CARA! Don’t bite your brother!”

“OLIVER! Don’t lick your sister!”

“CARA! It is NOT OK to put your brother in the toy box!”

Lots and lots of screaming. A whole lot of timeouts and a healthy helping of tears.

That stuff gets tiring after a while and late last week, I just got fed up by it all. I decided I was done being the referee and also began to think my constant intervention just might be making the problem even worse.

I’ve started ignoring it. Granted I keep half an ear out for real cries and intervene if I’m really needed but for the most part, I’ve just been leaving them to work it out.

What I was half expecting was for them to eat each other and for me to be left childless. Much to my surprise, the fights have become less frequent. The spats about who has what baby still happen but they’re solved a heck of a lot faster than in the past.

Sure, there are still timeouts and tears and sometimes bite marks but it’s gotten a lot better.

Am I a parenting freak when it comes to this kind of situation? I figure it’s working. And if it ain’t broke, don’t put on your black and white shirt and your whistle.

Image/Flickr

Comments

  1. I have five kids. It’s a war zone here some days. Sometimes the kids find me under the dining room table taking cover. I have been letting the majority of the arguments and sibling issues work out themselves, and at times I have to step in because I really can’t afford those ER visits.
    .-= Kim @ Beautiful Wreck´s last blog ..A fox guarding the hen house – Tyson is the fox, and the consumers are the hens =-.

    • I about had a panic attack when I read the “I have five kids.” part.

      Seriously.

      There’s no way you could referee all of them. You’d lose your mind!

  2. Good for you! My own mother, who had four kids in six years, used to raise her eyebrows and look for blood. If she didn’t see any, she’d clarify that if we didn’t work it out without her, we’d all get the same punishment. Amazing how the loss of dessert or cartoons for a week can sweeten a Lord of the Flies situation!
    .-= Lisa Stone´s last blog ..(VIDEO) Dining While Gay: It’s Legal in Some States to Refuse Service for Homosexuality =-.

    • Have you seen the Elmo effervescent bath tabs that color the bathwater? HUGE hit in our house.

      Now, if one of them does something crazy bad, the culprit doesn’t get to chose what color tab to use at bath time.

      So far it’s working.

  3. I take a hands off approach, too. Siblings are one of the most natural ways for kids to learn healthy interpersonal relationships, boundaries and all of that fun stuff.
    If mom and dad step in continuously, how do they learn to work it?
    They don’t, they turn into the whiners at work.
    Boss, Amy isn’t doing her work again and look her project her looks just like mine.

    .-= Heather Solos´s last blog ..How to Dice an Onion, a Step-by-step Photo Tutorial =-.

  4. Good job, Amy.
    life lessons are learned through childhood interactions. Problem solving and relationship handling are learned through young interactions.
    I’m trying to referee less and let them figure it out, too.
    I”ll let you know how it works in our house 😉

    • I won’t lie, Rachel it is LOUD in my house. Pretty much all dang day. Once in a while I do the ENOUGH! Separate now before I go crazy! However my 2yo daughter doesn’t take crap from her brothers and if she can stand up to them at 2, I have the feeling she won’t take crap from others when she’s a bit older and knows that despite everything we tease about at home we have her back out in the world. 😉
      .-= Heather Solos´s last blog ..How to Roast Potatoes =-.

    • Have you considered a cattle prod?

      Not that I’m advocating their use or anything but the cows seem to pay attention when you’ve got one in your hand. 😉

  5. Hollyn says:

    Like you, I’ve given up. I’m sick of Jack doing stuff that pisses his sister off and her being the total drama queen. As long as there aren’t any ‘real’ screams, I’m usually okay… until I’ve had enough of listening to them. Ugh!

    Jack’s new thing is to go after the dogs. That I intervene immediately, for obivous reasons. As much as I would like Killian to teach him some respect a-la “Rocky-style,” it probably isn’t a good idea. I think she’s sick of his shit, too.

Trackbacks

  1. Amy Tucker says:

    New Blog Post: Referee No Longer http://bit.ly/aluxeE

  2. Noah Roth says:

    RT @Tastelikecrazy: New Blog Post: Referee No Longer http://bit.ly/aluxeE // Weren't you just saying the same thing, @mrsroth?

  3. Amy Tucker says:

    I just wrote this: Referee No Longer – If there’s one thing that keeps things interesting in a house with two… http://ow.ly/17wblT

  4. […] – 071 Image by Ed Yourdon Note: this photo was published in a May 27, 2010 blog titled "Referee No Longer." It was also published in an Oct 14, 2010 blog titled "Run Your Business Using Referee […]

  5. […] – 071 Image by Ed Yourdon Note: this photo was published in a May 27, 2010 blog titled "Referee No Longer." It was also published &#105&#110&#32an Oct 14, 2010 blog titled "Run Your Business […]

  6. […] – 071 Image by Ed Yourdon Note: this photo was published in a May 27, 2010 blog titled "Referee No Longer." It was also published in an Oct 14, 2010 blog titled "Run Your Business Using Referee […]

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